Two allelic genomic fragments containing ribosomal protein S4 encoding genes (rpS4) from Trypanosoma cruzi (CL-Brener strain) were isolated and characterized. One allele comprises two complete tandem repeats of a sequence encoding an rpS4 gene. In the other, only one rpS4 gene is found. Sequence comparison to the accessed data in the genome project database reveals that our two-copy allele corresponds to a variant haplotype. However, the deduced aminoacid sequence of all the gene copies is identical. The rpS4 transcripts processing sites were determined by comparison of genomic sequences with published cDNA data. The obtained sequence data demonstrates that rpS4 genes are expressed in epimastigotes, amastigotes, and trypomastigotes. A recombinant version of rpS4 was found to be an antigenic: it was recognized by 62.5% of the individuals with positive serology for T. cruzi and by 93.3% of patients with proven chronic chagasic disease
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